If you’ve had your Facebook profile since the dawn of social media, chances are it’s accumulated an immense amount of personal information. While you might have felt uneasy handing over all of this data to Facebook, the company has made it surprisingly easy to take it back.
There are many reasons you may want to download your data from Facebook. Maybe you want to have a backup copy of your data stored locally, or perhaps you’re working on a project, like a graduation collage that requires you to pull out every photo under the sun. Of course, a less benign reason you’d want to do this is if you’re completely fed up with Facebook, and you want to close your account. Unless you download your data, all of your information would be lost, which means countless years of Facebook activity lost.
Regardless of your reason for downloading your data, Facebook makes it easy. After all, Facebook has no reason to make downloading your data difficult, as they pretty much own anything you upload anyway, whether you download it or not. (That's why you must always use discretion when choosing what you post on Facebook.)
To get started, log into Facebook and go to Settings. You’ll see Download a copy of your Facebook data right underneath General Account Settings. Click on it, and you’ll see Start My Archive.
This lets you select a place to store your information. Remember, you’re choosing a folder to download your Facebook data, so make sure that it’s a secured folder since your Facebook data probably contains at least some sensitive information.
What kind of information is downloaded to your archive? Facebook explains: “This includes a lot of the same information available to you in your account and activity log, including your Timeline info, posts you have shared, messages, photos and more. Additionally, it includes information that is not available simply by logging into your account, like the ads you have clicked on, data like the IP addresses that are logged when you log into or out of Facebook, and more.”
Depending on how heavily you have used Facebook over the years, you might be looking at a fairly large download. However, downloading all of your data in one sitting is probably going to be more valuable and convenient than going through each individual post and manually selecting what you’d like to download.
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